1st Edition

Auto-Opium A Social History of American Automobile Design

By David Gartman Copyright 1994
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    This much needed book is the first to provide a comprehensive history of the profession and aesthetics of American automobile design. The author reveals how the appearance of the automobile was shaped by the social conflicts arising from America's mass production system. He connects the social struggles of American society with the organizational struggles of designers to create symbol-laden substitutes for the American dream. Theoretically sophisticated, lucid and compelling, Auto-Opium will appeal to all interested in the American obsession with the car.

    List of Illustrations (21) Preface 1. The Aesthetics of Fordism 2. Early Development of the Automotive Form 3. Diverging Paths of Design: Mass and Class Production 4. The Struggle for Styling, 1: The Twenties and the Birth of Automobile Styling 5. The Struggle for Styling, 2: The Depression and the Decade of Streamlining 6. Fifties Fins and the Triumph of Fantastic Styling 7. The Rise and Fall of Auto Individuality Epilogue. Design in the Wake of Fordism Notes


    David Gartman is Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of South Alabama.